On Monday, UK announced the hiring of Edrick Floreal as head coach of UK track and field. Floreal comes to Lexington after six years leading Stanford's program, the kind of job that would have caused a coach to consider leaving UK in the not-so-distant past.
Instead, recognizing the vast potential of the Kentucky program and the lure of coaching in the Southeastern Conference, Floreal is a Wildcat once more.
"I am very excited to return to Kentucky and guide this program into a new era of success," Floreal said in a release. "I am certain that with the support of the administration and the Wildcat community, we can accomplish great things. The new outdoor track and field facility provides the perfect venue to accomplish the many goals I have for UK. My wife and I are looking forward to being back in the SEC, competing against the best in track and field and taking part in the new rise of champions at Kentucky. The potential is limitless and I am excited to join the Big Blue Nation as part of the Wildcat Family."
After winning five NCAA triple jump titles and four team championships as a student-athlete at Arkansas and competing for Canada at the 1988 and 1992 Olympics, Floreal spent 1996-98 as an assistant under Don Weber at Kentucky. He would then depart for Palo Alto, Calif., where he spent 14 seasons and the last six as head coach. During his tenure, 50 of his student-athletes earned 142 All-American honors. In 2011, he led the Cardinal men (eighth) and women (14th) to top-15 finishes at the NCAA Outdoor Championships.
"We are proud to announce Edrick Floreal as the new Kentucky track and field head coach," Barnhart said. "Edrick has found success in every step of his career, both on the track and in the classroom. He knows the SEC both as a student-athlete and as a coach, he has ties that span the country and he has developed student-athletes to compete on the national level and global level. His passion in the classroom is something we take great pride in at Kentucky, and we look forward to opening our new outdoor track and field facility under Edrick's direction."
At UK, Floreal will lead six different programs, including men's and women's cross country, men's and women's indoor track and field, along with men's and women's outdoor track and field.
CLICK HERE TO READ THE COMPLETE RELEASE ANNOUCING FLOREAL AS HEAD COACH